“Family-integrated” is a new descriptor being applied to many churches today. We utilize this in our tag-line to emphasize our commitment to the family as an important construction made by God.
Philosophically speaking, being “family integrated” means that we believe that the family, as defined by scripture consisting of a man and woman and any children with whom they may be blessed, is, next to Christ, the foundation of the Church. The church is made up of families. Some are large and some are small. Sometimes all that is left of a family is a surviving spouse, or maybe it is just about to start as a young man on his own seeks a wife. Whatever the case, the Bible is clear that the family was designed by God to accomplish His purposes.
Practically speaking, “family integrated” affects how we structure our meetings and ministry. Unlike the modern church model where each family member goes to separate venues on a Sunday morning, evening, and/or Wednesday night service, at Grace all ages are gathered together for worship and fellowship.
This model allows the father to take responsibility for his family in worship, assures that they are all receiving the same teaching, and gives the family something to discuss during the coming week where the father/husband takes the lead in answering questions from his family about the teaching. For ladies lacking male leadership, our Elders fill this role. It also brings together both the elderly and the young so that healthy bonds of respect and lifelong friendships can develop.
We are concerned that the modern church is doing a disservice to the family be keeping them apart (sometimes with insistence) during the teaching/worship time. This practice is not found in the Bible; however, there are many passages that show families worshiping together. We believe that by following scripture in all areas, including this one, we will reap its blessings.